The Epiphone Explorer is a classic Explorer through and through. Fans of this iconic design will love the rich midrange character and sustain gotten from its mahogany body. Its set mahogany neck feels great in your hand, thanks to its comfortable SlimTaper profile, with cutaways on both sides for unfettered fret access. It comes topped with an easy-playing Indian laurel fingerboard that’s sure to inspire. Its “hockey-stick” headstock makes a perfect platform for a set of Grover Mini 18:1-ratio tuners. A LockTone Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece complete the package.
Bridge and neck ProBucker humbuckers equip the Epiphone Explorer for sweet cleans and decidedly classic lead and crunch tones. These pickups are made using Alnico II magnets — the same found in sought-after vintage PAF humbuckers — for rich, warm tone with crystalline highs and a tight bottom. The guitarists here at Guitar World have discovered that with two volume knobs, a master tone, and a toggle switch, the Explorer enables you to dial in a diverse range of tone and attack as you hone your own style.
Like sleek, space-aged probes sent from a galaxy far, far away to test the tonal waters of planet earth, the Flying V and Explorer landed to reactions that ranged from total awe to out-and-out bafflement. While the Les Paul at least represented a post-modern interpretation of a recognizable blueprint, these two radical members of the Modernistic line were barely perceivable as guitars at all. Their bodies and necks were carved into super-angular shapes with no discernible bouts, wastes, or traditional cutaways of any sort. The Flying V was even verging on impossible to play sitting down — but who could sit for long while playing an instrument like this? These guitars were made for strutting, swaggering, wailing rock — it just seems no one quite realized it at the time. Even more than the groundbreaking Les Paul, the Flying V and Explorer were guitars aimed at a music that had yet to be born. In the late 1960s and '70s when heavy rock would rule stadium stages the world over, these bold guitars became the ultimate incarnations of the music.